Tickle Me - Allied
By: For Elvis Fans Only
"Tickle Me" was Elvis' eighteenth film
and was made for Allied Artists.
This movie was at one time tentatively
titled "Rodeo" and then "Isle of
Paradise." Eventually, "Tickle Me" was
This studio, formed in 1946, was in
serious financial difficulty at the time
and was hoping that they would make
enough money from this movie to stay
afloat for a while longer. Elvis's
manager, Colonel Tom Parker agreed to a
cut in Elvis's normal salary of
$1,000,000 down to $750,000 plus 50% of
the profits. Also in an effort to save
money it was decided for the first time
that a new soundtrack would not be cut.
They would rely on songs previously
recorded. The production did not go out
on location for this film. It was shot
on the studio back lot.
Two of the songs they used charted
fairly well. "(Such An) Easy Question"
written by Otis Blackwell and Winfield
Scott stayed on the Hot 100 Chart for 8
weeks and peaked at #11. It hit #1 on
the Easy Listening Chart and stayed
there for two weeks. "I'm Yours" written
by Don Robertson spent 11 weeks on the
Hot 100 Chart, peaking at #11, and it
made it to #1 during its three-week stay
on the Easy Listening Chart.
This was producer Ben Swalb's last film.
He had begun his career filming sports
documentaries in the 1930s. Elvis was
very comfortable working with the
director Norman Taurog who would, in
total, direct nine of his movies.
The script was written by Edward Bernds
and Elwood Ullman. Mr. Bernds had 95
film credits as a director and 86 as a
sound engineer, as well as 52
screenplays including his 1957 Academy
Award nominated "High Society". He began
in radio and quickly moved to "talkies'
in the late 1920s. Elwood Ullman also
shared in that Academy Award nomination
for "High Society" and this Memphis
native began writing for films in the
Loyal Griggs was the cinematographer on
"Tickle Me" as he had been for "G.I.
Blues" and "Girls! Girls! Girls!"
Starting his career in the mid 1920s in
the special effects department of
Paramount, he won an Academy Award in
1954 for "Shane." He went on to receive
three more Oscar nominations over the
years for his work in the movies "The
Ten Commandments," "The Greatest Story
Ever Told" and "In Harm's Way."
Arthur Lonergan was the art director. He
became an Academy Award nominee in 1967
for his work on the movie "The Oscar."
The designs of some of the ghost town
sets were inspired by a real historical
house in Los Angeles that had once
belonged to Pio Pico, the last governor
when California was under Mexican rule.
The film was set at a desert guest
ranch owned by the character Vera
Radford, who was played by Julie Adams.
Ms. Adams early roles were in 50s
westerns. One of her most notable roles
was in the science fiction classic "The
Creature From The Black Lagoon." Later
in her career, she would become well
known for her recurring roles on TV
series such as "General Hospital",
"Captiol," "Code Red" and "Murder She
Elvis's leading lady was the British
beauty Jocelyn Lane, who travelled Europe
as a child and learned to speak several
languages. After studying ballet in
London, she began her career in her
teens as a popular British model then
turned her attention to acting and
making films in the 60s. She retired
from acting in the early 1970s and
became a princess when she married a
Jack Mullaney played Elvis' sside-kick
Stanley and can also be seen as a
bandmate with Elvis in the movie
"Spinout." He was known for his roles as
the goofy, accident-prone nice guy on
such shows as "The Ann Sothern Show,"
"Ensign O'Toole," "My Living Doll" and
"It's About Time."
Edward Faulkner, who played Brad
Bentley, was a favourite of John Wayne's
and worked with him often in films such
as "McLintock!," "The Green Berets,"
"Hellfighters," "Chisum"" and "Rio
The villains in this film were played by
Bill Williams (Deputy Sheriff), Louie
Elias and Robert F. Hoy (gardeners Henry
and Jerry) and John Dennis (chef
Adolph). They were all veteran character
actors. Bill Williams began his 46-year
career in 1944 with the movie "Thirty
Seconds Over Tokyo." Louie Elias is an
actor and stuntman, often working as a
stunt coordinator. In addition to acting
since the 1940s, Robert F. Hoy has been
a stunt double for many actors. His
latest project "Big Chuck, Little Chuck"
is currently in post-production. You
might recognize John Dennis as the mail
clerk in "Jailhouse Rock" with Elvis.
Before his death in March 2004, he had a
thirty-year acting career in both movies
Connie Gilchrist played Hilda the
masseuse in Elvis's film "Tickle Me." It
was her second to last movie role and
one of 77 since 1940 when she was signed
with MGM at the age of 39. She had
already been performing on stage for 23
years when she made her film debut. She
might be best remembered for her TV
roles in "The Adventures of Long John
Silver" and "The Real McCoys."
In this movie devoted to a guest ranch
where models, actresses and others came
to diet and lose weight, one of the
funniest characters was Estelle
Penfield, who was always looking to
smuggle forbidden food. She was aptly
played by Merry Anders who began
modelling and acting while still in high
school. She began her acting career in
1951 and might be best remembered for
her recurring roles in the "Stu Erwin
Show" "Gunsmoke" and "Dragnet."
Grady Sutton and Dorothy Konrad played
Mr. and Mrs. Dabney, who couldn't quite
keep their meal on their plates due to
the antics of Mrs. Penfield. Grady
Sutton, a native of Tennessee, broke
into movies in 1924, beginning a 55-year
career that included over 200 movie
roles. He specialized in playing
slightly befuddled Southerners.
In a movie about women one might expect
a greater bevy of beautiful ladies than
in most Elvis movies. "Tickle Me" had
many who worked as uncredited extras.
One such actress was Barbara Werle, who
was also in the Elvis films
Academy Award winner Leah Rhodes was the
costume designer. Her award was for her
designs in the 1948 movie "Adventures of
Don Juan." Her wardrober was Shirlee
Strahm, who would go on to costume for
"Funny Lady," "The Goodbye Girl," "Nine
To Five," "Steel Magnolias" and
"Charlie's Angles" among others. She was
the head costume designer for the 1976
Barbra Streisand version of "A Star Is
Principal photography began on October
12, 1964 and Elvis was released from the
production on November 24, 1964. The
film previewed in Hollywood on May 13,
1965. After the premiere in Atlanta on
May 28th, it opened nationwide on July
7, 1965. Although bashed by the critics,
it was to date the third highest
grossing film for the Allied Artists
Studio and saved them from bankruptcy
for a while longer. Ever the promoter,
Colonel Parker had RCA purchase from
Elvis his customized gold-appointed
white Cadillac limousine and it was sent
on a tour of the country promoting this
movie. Other promotional items included
feather pens and packages of "Tickle Me"
Elvis received a Golden Laurel Award for
his performance. The Golden Laurels were
an industry award that had no ceremony
and names of winners were published in
the Motion Picture Exhibitor Magazine.
- (It's a) Long Lonely
Highway (Doc Pomus & Mort
- It Feels So Right
(Fred Wise & Ben Weisman)
- (Such An) Easy Question (Otis
Blackwell & Winfield Scott)
- Dirty Dirty Feeling (Jerry
Leiber & Mike Stoller)
- Put the Blame on Me (Kay
Twomey, Fred Wise, & Norman Blagman)
- I'm Yours (Don Robertson & Hal
- Night Rider (Doc Pomus & Mort
- I Feel That I've Known You Forever (Doc
Pomus & Alan Jeffries)
- Slowly But Surely (Sid Wayne &
Writing Credits Edward
Producer Ben Schwalb
Music Scored and Conducted by
Technical Advisor Colonel Tom
Color by Deluxe
Elvis Presley .... Lonnie Beale, Jocelyn
Lane .... Pamela Meritt, Julie Adams
.... Vera Radford, Jack Mullaney ....
Stanley Potter, Merry Anders ....
Estelle Penfield, Inez Pedroza ....
Ophelia, Allison Hayes .... Mabel,
Lilyan Chauvin .... Ronnie, John Dennis
.... Adolph the Chef, Edward Faulkner
.... Brad Bentley, Connie Gilchrist....
Hilda, Angela Greene .... Donna, Barbara
Werle .... Barbara, Red West .... Bully
in Bar, Bill Williams .... Deputy
Sheriff John Sturdivant.